More kinds of user authentication options are available today than ever before—two-factor, multi-factor, mobile, push, tokenless, biometric. That’s the good news. But if you’re not careful, it can be bad news, too. No one wants to get off on the wrong foot with a solution that forces you to choose between security and convenience, strands users on “islands of identity,” limits your options for the future or trips you up in some other way. Before you get on the road to authentication, be aware of these potential hazards and take care to avoid them.
Security vs. Convenience
A good authentication solution shouldn’t cut corners on security to give users the convenient access they’re looking for—or vice-versa. If you choose one that sacrifices security, you’ll find yourself at risk for a breach or a compliance violation. If you choose one that sacrifices convenience, you’ll slow down users who are eager to work productively. And that goes double for privileged users. You need a solution that combines privileged user management with convenient and secure multi-factor authentication, so you can reduce the risk these users create and also provide them with convenient access to all the resources they need to do their jobs.
Limited Authenticator Options
Today’s users are as likely to be working remotely as they are to be in the office, and as likely to be accessing cloud resources as on-premises applications and services. To serve them effectively, you need a solution that offers a variety of authenticator options. One that provides multiple paths to convenient, secure authentication across all the environments to which users need access. And also one that makes it easy to move from, say, mobile push to hardware tokens to biometrics and back again.
“Islands of Identity”
When you have a mix of on-premises, cloud and mobile applications, it’s easy to end up with disconnected silos of identity information we call “islands of identity.” If there’s no single convenient way to securely access resources across them, you’ll end up with users having to navigate multiple access processes. That’s likely to leave them frustrated enough to resort to just using the same password for everything. And that can put the security of the entire organization at risk.
No Support for Legacy or Future Needs
An authentication solution’s long-term value lies in its ability to work with current infrastructure as well as support future requirements. Beware of one that doesn’t work with the legacy firewalls, security applications and VPN capabilities you already have in place—or worse, doesn’t easily scale to support more users, locations and types of devices as your organization grows and changes.
The road to authentication that proves both secure and convenient can be rough. But if you avoid known hazards along the way, you can pave a smooth path both for the team that’s charged with securing it and the people who are using it every day. Download this infographic to learn more about the most common authentication pitfalls and how to avoid them, so you can stay on the path to secure, convenient access for all.